Suárez discusses key Rodgers phonecall
There have been only but a handful of forwards that have been as successful and influential as Uruguayan icon Luis Suárez.
From his gateway season into Europe with FC Groningen to his introduction to the continent with Ajax Amsterdam and then a rise to prominence with Liverpool, Suárez has been at the forefront of the forward debate for over a decade.
But it was a key phone call from Brendan Rodgers that kept the native of Salto at Liverpool, which ended in two additional glorious years at Anfield for the now Atlético Madrid star.
Luis Suarez explains phone conversation that stopped him leaving Liverpool.
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) November 2, 2021
In an interview with UEFA.com (with quotes provided by the Liverpool Echo) in the run-up to his return to Merseyside tomorrow as Colchoneros clash with Jürgen Klopp’s Reds and in need of a three-point haul, Suárez shed light on the situation and what nearly was and was not;
“I think I’d been at Liverpool for a year-and-a-half when Brendan took charge in July 2012. Back then, I had opportunities to sign for other clubs who were getting in contact with me, but he phoned me when I was in Uruguay on holiday, to tell me that he had another way of thinking, that he wanted to change the club and its philosophy, that he wanted the club to get back in the Champions League and fight to win big trophies, that he was going to make the team play great football.
He asked me to believe and trust him. I enjoyed that chat. I liked his conviction, the philosophy he wanted to implement at the club, so I talked to my agent and the club to say that I didn’t want to leave, that I wanted another opportunity to be successful at Liverpool.”
In a revelation corroborated by Football.London chief Arsenal reporter Chris Wheatley, Suárez desired a move to Premier League rivals Arsenal in the same summer before Rodgers convinced the Uruguayan to give it another go on Merseyside.
Luis Suarez on almost joining Arsenal in 2013:
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) November 1, 2021
Thankfully for Liverpool supporters the world over, Suárez remained at Anfield for a further two seasons where he would end up smashing 61-goals in 81-appearances across all competitions, including a 31-goal haul in his final Premier League season during the 2013-14 campaign.
A return home for a beloved former Red
As Atlético Madrid currently sits joint-second in Champions League group B on 4-points with FC Porto while trailing Liverpool by a five-point margin, Suárez has the opportunity to put his current employers back in contention for the top spot in the group.
The Uruguayan has been in good form for Atléti in what is now his second season in the Spanish capital after being forced out of Barcelona two summers ago by the now-sacked Ronald Koeman, having hit 27-goals in just 42-appearances in La Liga.
His six-goal domestic return this season already has him sitting third in the goal charts, and his fond memories of two fantastic seasons at Anfield could well be channeled into a key performance for Diego Simeone’s men.
This article was edited by Ben Browning.
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